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Comment: Re:This means war! (Score 1) 87

Comment: Wait - what? (Score 4, Insightful) 281

by Okian Warrior (#48670153) Attached to: Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

The FBI points to reused code from previous attacks associated with North Korea [...]

Um... I hate to be the non-technical person that points this out, but...

The evidence that implicates NK on the previous attacks - is it the same evidence used to assign blame in the current attack?

Is this citing the conclusions based on the same evidence/situation from previous attacks to give legitimacy to the evidence in the current attack?

What a scam! Claim something on flimsy evidence, then cite those claims to give legitimacy to the flimsy evidence!

I wonder... can I do this sort of thing in the scientific literature? Hmmmm...

Comment: One reason: Annoyance (Score 5, Interesting) 234

by Okian Warrior (#48662641) Attached to: The Slow Death of Voice Mail

One reason for the death of voice mail is the change from convenience to annoyance imposed by the carriers.

First you hear “Hi, it’s John Smith. Leave a message, and I’ll get back to you”. (5 seconds)

And THEN you hear a 15-second canned carrier message "[Phone number] is not available right now. Please leave a detailed message after the tone. When you have finished recording, you may hang up, or press pound for more options. To leave a callback number, press 5.”

That extra 15 seconds is annoying as hell to wait out, and it's only put there so that the carrier can use up metered minutes on an artificially scarce resource.

Then when you go to *play* the message, you have to wait through the "First message, from, phone number xxx-xxx-xxxx, received at ".

The old-style was much more convenient. Leave a message *beep* "Hi, this is your sister, please give me a call". Oftentimes 10 seconds *total* gets the point across.

The new-style - not so much.

Take the time wasted on each worthless recording (15 secs), multiply by the number of messages each year, and you get a *lot* of wasted man-years.

Thanks, carriers! Your relentless pursuit of money has ruined a perfectly useful feature.

Comment: Artistic license (Score 4, Funny) 328

I like what J.J Abrams and Zack Snyder (who directed "Man of Steel") have done to the franchises. They start with the established plotlines and take the stories in new directions. It's an artistic license that gives us fresh, new interpretations of the characters such as superman killing someone (General Zod) or Spock having an emotional outburst (over Kirk's death).

I anxiously await the Michael Bay version of "Hamlet" or the Justin Lin version of "Macbeth". This site has a good overview of directors taking artistic license, including an unannounced (but upcoming) superman movie.

For reference, here's Kevin Smith talking about how movies get made.

Comment: Police waving a baton? (Score 2) 90

by Okian Warrior (#48656901) Attached to: Google Unveils New Self-Driving Car Prototype

Just last week I encountered a cop with a lighted baton who was directing traffic from the side of the road. He would stop traffic, walk to the middle of the road while motioning people across the road with his baton, then walk off the road while waving the baton *behind his back* to signal "go ahead".

Does the self-driving car recognize this sort of thing?

Will it drive when there's snow on the ground?

I think I'd keep the steering wheel and manual control - just in case..

Comment: Re:Great observational skills (Score 1) 99

by TheRealHocusLocus (#48644317) Attached to: Birds Fled Area Before Tornadoes Appeared

Wow, someone just now noticed that animals can easily detect incoming low pressure fronts and hide from the weather.

Humans have many unique abilities too.

We are the only ones with the gift to see in dark grey waves of clouds the furrowed brows of an angry gods, whom we anger further by murmuring profane incantations about dew point and pressure gradients. Only we gaze down from our satellites and perceive that the hurricane is looking back. In the magnificent gyres of natural phenomena we may discern an uncanny alien intelligence. We alone feel that it is scrutinizing us, judging us, finds us wanting. "We are naked in the dark. Sam, and there is no veil between us and the wheel of fire. We begin to see it even with our waking eyes, and all else fades..."

We alone knock on wood to summon for its friendly assistance to combat invisible foes, and yet we are capable of perceiving that even that would never be enough. We are unique in the ability to summon demons from the underworld, the empty reaches of space, even a wry comment overheard on Thanksgiving.

Animals fear the unknown, but we also fear the unknowable, as we seek to discover the limits of what can be known, that we may dwell on the unspeakable horror of the nether region where even the quest for knowledge abandons all hope. We soften up our children with bedtime stories of violence and dreadful danger, neglect and cannibalism, comfortable things with which all animals are familiar, then we go on to describe covalent bonds and antimatter, quantum mechanics and relativistic time dilation, that they become mired in seas of madness, to seek solace in Dragonball Z.

Animals hide under a rock for practical reasons.
I fear the rock itself. There is no place to hide.
Join me, friend, let us dance in hysterical abandon,
and infect the whole Universe with our neurosis.

If you enjoy this, feel free to sample our other fine products.

Comment: Also, off-grid storage (Score 1) 133

by Okian Warrior (#48638967) Attached to: Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

And once the batteries reach end-of-life for automotive uses, they can be automatically repurposed for off-grid storage.

Once battery capacity falls below a certain level (60% perhaps?) it becomes unsuitable for automotive use, but could be used for other purposes such as offline-grid storage. A factory floor filled with older batteries still has quite a bit of capacity - so long as you aren't overly concerned about space or weight efficiencies.

Battery arrays could be installed at wind and solar installations to act as online storage to help even out baseline demand, and as more batteries come available we simply(!) swap out the oldest/least capacity units.

...for some definitions of "simply". In principle it doesn't sound too bad - a computer system monitors all batteries, using robots to install and harvest the batteries. Similar to the ones used for automated greenhouses or the ones that service the amazon fulfillment centers.

...and when they're completely dead ship them off for recycling. Refining lithium from batteries might be cheaper than mining raw ore.

Offline storage is the missing component that would make wind and solar power practical. Maybe used EV batteries is that component.

Comment: Meanwhile, on a more Practical Level... (Score 1) 718

Tabloid, much?
Who cares what dem people call dem other people??
Only freaks publicly insist on labeling other people freaks.
Says I, in public.

There are places where folks are still covering topics of pure-CO2 temperature causation (or not) that involve studies of available data, and just as important these days, breakdown and evaluation of the various 'corrections' that have been retroactively applied to those datasets, the reliability of models and various proxy methods. WattsUpWithThat is one such resource. If you conclude that it is on the other side of the fence than perhaps you should ask yourself, who built the fence?

Branding dissenters as heretics in the popular press on this level --- it is as if they are appealing to some Supreme Diety to descend from the heavens with a 'Mighty Dog' branding iron --- to mark the foreheads of chosen persons. It's ridiculous, boring and trite.

The climate furor may be part of a larger trend in science noted by master lexicographer Daniele Fanelli. The paper Negative Results are Disappearing from Most Disciplines and Countries [2011] is a fascinating read. It notes that "Of the hypothesized problems, perhaps the most worrying is a worsening of positive-outcome bias. A system that disfavours negative results not only distorts the scientific literature directly, but might also discourage high-risk projects and pressure scientists to fabricate and falsify their data."

Let me spell it out, what is being claimed here is a progressive shortage of applied effort to discredit popular hypotheses. Is it because we are such great guessers. we tend to get these things right so often the first time it's a waste of time and effort to back-check, to reproduce? Does it come down to money?

Or are people letting themselves become religious about science?
Isn't this what Carl Sagan warned us about?

Note to self: add citation to paper, "Climate Change may decrease eggshell thickness of duck-billed salamanders by 0.25mm by the year 2050."

Comment: Greater of two evils (Score 4, Insightful) 74

The typical reason for doing this is "if we don't do it first, subsequent legislation will require us to implement an even more onerous system".

Let's see how that works in practice:

The government simply waits to see what the telcos implement. If it's *more* than they wanted, they stop and say "well done!". If it's *less* than they wanted, then they proceed with legislation, which they were planning to do anyway.

In game theory terms, what does this type of policy maximize?

Comment: Did really he say that? (Score 4, Informative) 230

by Okian Warrior (#48595741) Attached to: Forbes Blasts Latests Windows 7 Patch as Malware

Ah yes, one bad patch and we should all NEVER PATCH AGAIN BECAUSE THE SKY IS FALLING!

Did he actually say that?

Or did he say turn off *automatic* patching?

It seems reasonable to always be 1 week behind in patching your systems - let someone else be the lightning rod for goofs and mistakes. I know some sysadmins patch "test" systems and try things out to see if the patches break their currently-running code. They don't seem to mind a certain time lag in patching.

Comment: Yeah, Revolving Doors are Cool (Score 4, Funny) 61

by TheRealHocusLocus (#48588135) Attached to: 'Revolving Door' Spins Between AT&T, Government

They always seem to be trying to make up their minds. On Star Trek doors go sheesh! but we have revolving doors that go Whump! Whump! Whump!

I'd have three revolving doors, two on the outside rotating in opposite directions and one in the middle that changes direction at random times, even when a person is in it. I'd put wheels on a potted plant and have it bumping along. I'd have one in a shaded area with a bright strobe light in it. I'd have a revolving door with mirror panels surrounded by a curved mirror and a curved, mirrored sliding shells that advance with the door on opposite sides and stop, to close off the tube completely and trap them for three full rounds, then advance again to present an opening as if it had always been there. I'd have a revolving door with rising and falling wedges that 'arrive' at the far end one step down or up. I'd have a camera at the top of the wedge looking down, and a bright LCD display set into the floor that is re-playing the top-down view from the last occupant, including a glimpse of the screen with the one previous, et cetera. I'd have a message that says, "say Hello!" and play back the hellos of previous occupants at random. I'd have a glass floor with a hypnotic spiral disc spinning quickly in the opposite direction. I'd have a narrow brightly lit aquarium with fish as door panels. I'd have a gauntlet of a dozen revolving doors synchronized to pass occupants on, each one lit with a progressive hue of the rainbow. And ping pong ball releases.

Next up at Slashdot: 'Escalator' Trundles Between Verizon, Government

Comment: Re:Prefix This (Score 1) 57

by TheRealHocusLocus (#48588055) Attached to: BGP Hijacking Continues, Despite the Ability To Prevent It

(feeling karma-guilty now) Some of my previous BGP bookmarks,

The RFC6480 I'm sure you'll want to read this first, every bit of it. Others may wish to skip on to the next chapter which is a good bit and has Marvin the Robot in it.

Introduction to BGP and How BGP best path (by default!)
[2014] spammers squatting on unassigned IP address ranges
  [2014] Using BGP advertisements to gather Bitcoin mining traffic (doing digital money with unsecured protocols, kewl!)
[2012] Packet Pushers #93: Lies and Routing in the Internet great interview with Geoff Huston. Look for the show notes links too.
[2012] Packet Pushers #105: BGP Origin Validation with Resource Public Key Infrastructure (RPKI) with Alex Brand from RIPE. Discussion of attack profiles, resistance and real-world challenges to its implementation.
[2012] Previous Slashdot: Engineers Ponder Easier Fix To Internet Problem
[2013] Denver pings Denver --- via Iceland! Someone's Been Routing Internet Data Through The Great Chefs Of Europe

Here's some confusing BGP routing diagrams to print out and tape to the walls to impress everybody.

Comment: Prefix This (Score 5, Funny) 57

by TheRealHocusLocus (#48586947) Attached to: BGP Hijacking Continues, Despite the Ability To Prevent It

Just flipped down the thread:


A = messages complaining about use of acronym, explaining it
S = messages questioning relevance of BGP to 'Nerd', answers
? = WTF responses (Fry, Bennet)
F = political views (fuck ARIN, fuck legalese, fuck de Man)
b = relevant but misinformed (filtering not quicky-solve, RPKI not Kill Switch)
B = relevant, thoughtful response to a 'b'
M = this, meta message about thread.

If the rest of the Internet was like this, no actual routes would ever be advertised.

My life is light, waiting for the death wind,
Like a feather on the back of my hand.
Dust in sunlight and memory in corners
Wait for the wind that chills towards the dead land.

~T.S. Eliot

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981